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“as expected, spectactular and evocative!”
Review of Ani Ruins

Ani Ruins
Ranked #1 of 18 things to do in Kars
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed November 28, 2011

We had read a lot about Ani, an ancient city near the Armenian border, and were expecting to be impressed. Depite the heat of a late July day, we very pleased to spend a couple hours exploring historic, partly ruined churches and other building scattered across the open steppe. Some builidngs were right on the edge of the gorge serving as the boundary between Turkey and Armenia, and we felt the cool breeze coming off the water of Arpa Cayi. Signs were informative, but it was helpful to also refer to our Lonely Planet guide. Nestling Crag Martins added to the atmosphere in an ancient mosque, and a large grasshopper along one of the trails was a surprise. Only a few other visitors shared the site with us, so it was easy to think back to bygone days.

1  Thank Tim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 21, 2011

If you find yourself in the NE of Turkey near the city of Kars be certain to visit the ancient ruined city of Ani. The location is remote (probably 30 miles east of Kars). If you are not driving I would suggest joining a tour group as a taxi ride would be expensive and I do not believe that there is regular public bus service.

The sprawling and largely unexcavated city enjoyed natural protection (deep gorge and river) on three sides with a long, massive and fairly intact wall and fortifications on the fourth side.

You will see utter ruins interspersed with buildings large building (typically places of worship) that are largely intact. Some are in the process of restoration/stabilization and the kervanseri is in and especially good state. The restoration seems to be limited to replacing the veneer stones over walls of rubble core. What looks like full ashlar buildings/walls are usually this rubble and veneer construction.

The architecture is a unique combination of Seljuk, Byzantine, Muslim and perhaps others.

Plan on devoting at least three hours just to walk to the major structures.

If you visit, I HIGHLY suggest that you spend the night in Kars. You are unlikely to have time to get anywhere else that offers lodging before nightfall if you devote a reasonable amount of time to Ani.

No vendors on site when we visited and the tiny village just before seemed to have no market. Take water with you!

2  Thank SwampeastMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2011

The tiny place of Ani in the East of Turkey is brilliant - quite eerie with the Armenian sniper towers in the distance. You can watch the cows go back and forth between Turkey & Armenia through the holes in the border fence - hilarious.
It's at the end of the road from Kars - a pretty ordinary place - stayed at the Kral hotel, which is being renovated, perhaps once that's done, it might be value for money. For the moment, unless you like 70s retro, sandpaper for a towel and a stuffy room, don't bother.

Thank MissT603
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2011

Ani City Ruins were a special treat situated beside the Akhurian river in Turkey and bordering Armenia. The medieval city was formerly enclosed by a wall which only partially exists now. Perhaps the highlight of the former city is the Church of St. Gregory, built in the 1200s. The church overlooks the river and within houses some beautiful frescoes. Its exterior is wonderfully decorated with stone carvings of animals, real and imaginary. There are also ruins of a cathedral built in the 1000s which is fairly complete. Other church ruins, a mosque, fortress, and other buildings dot the old city. It is really a pretty spectacular site.

1  Thank bumihills2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2011

Ani is about 45 minutes by car from Kars through green fields with cows and cowherds.
We were there early June and the wildflowers were out.
The combination of old ruins and beautiful spring flowers was wonderful.Many photos were taken with that combination of history and beauty.
We spent 3.5 hours wandering around so be sure to take water and a picnic especially in the summer.

Thank RichardandLaraine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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